Re: Last Call: <draft-polk-ipr-disclosure-03.txt> (Promoting Compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Disclosure Rules) to Informational RFC

Stephan Wenger <> Mon, 30 April 2012 17:19 UTC

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From: Stephan Wenger <>
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Subject: Re: Last Call: <draft-polk-ipr-disclosure-03.txt> (Promoting Compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Disclosure Rules) to Informational RFC
Thread-Topic: Last Call: <draft-polk-ipr-disclosure-03.txt> (Promoting Compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Disclosure Rules) to Informational RFC
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Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 17:19:23 +0000
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Here are a few comments to this draft.

(1) Section 3.1, final paragraph.  An IETF disclosure has to be made
against a Contribution.  In the case described in this paragraph, the
Contribution may not have been made at the time of the Disclosure request,
and, therefore, it would be impossible to make a Disclosure.  For example,
if someone wants to discuss a technology verbally, you cannot make an IPR
disclosure before the words have been uttered.  I would remove this
paragraph.  Alternatively, limit it to "materials you plan to make
available at the meeting" in the sprit it of section 4.1.

(2) Section 3.2, "silence may be interpreted as a weak "No".".  This
statement is IMO not supported by the IETF patent policy, and should
therefore be removed.  Generally speaking, any additional burden to
non-Contributors beyond making them aware of the voluntary disclosure
opportunity IMP constitutes a policy change and must be avoided.

(3) Section 3.3.  I would replace "author" with "authors and other
Contributors".  Or "known Contributors", "prominent Contributors", or
something like this.  It is entirely possible, and in fact not uncommon,
that non-author Contributors influence the technology choices of I-Ds.
One possible metric for identifying some of these Contributors would be a
review of the Acknowledgement section many I-Ds include.  I see this
mentioned in section 3.4; I would shift (or duplicate?) the burden of
double-checking with Contributors to the WG chairs as WGLC.

(4) Section 4.2.  Suggest to include Contributors in the spirit of comment
(3) above.

(5) Section A.1.  The email has a logical structure, but sometimes a
logical structure may not have the best effect.  As written, people will
probably not read it in its entirety, but will give up once its clear that
it includes legalese.  Suggest to move the final paragraph "As FOO WG
chairs" to the top, and put the formal justification stuff at the end.

(6) Section A.2: I would substitute "Dear FOO WG" with "Dear FOO WG and
especially authors and Contributors:"

(7) Section A.2, third paragraph, sentence "We will not be able to advance
this document to the next stage until we have received a reply from each
author and listed contributor."  If this sentence starts appearing with
some consistency in IETF WGs, then we have a de-facto policy change
(requiring affirmative negative declarations).  Suggest to soften the
language: "we may not be able to advance" or "it does not appear to be
sensible to us to advance"

(8) Section A.2, fourth paragraph: I would express this along the
following: "you are reminded of your opportunity for a voluntary IPR
disclosure under BCP79 section xxx.  Unless you want to make such a
voluntary disclosure, please do not reply."

(9) Section A.3, see previous comments (7) and (8).
(10) Section A.4, see previous comment (7)

(11) Section A.5, see previous comment (7)


On 4.30.2012 18:27 , "The IESG" <> wrote:

>The IESG has received a request from an individual submitter to consider
>the following document:
>- 'Promoting Compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
>   Disclosure Rules'
>  <draft-polk-ipr-disclosure-03.txt> as Informational RFC
>The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits
>final comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the
> mailing lists by 2012-05-28. Exceptionally, comments may be
>sent to instead. In either case, please retain the
>beginning of the Subject line to allow automated sorting.
>   The disclosure process for intellectual property rights (IPR) in
>   documents produced within the IETF stream is essential to the
>   accurate development of community consensus.  However, this process
>   is not always followed by participants during IETF standardization.
>   Regardless of the cause or motivation, noncompliance with IPR
>   disclosure rules can derail or delay completion of standards
>   documents.  This document describes strategies for promoting
>   compliance with the IPR disclosure rules.  The strategies are
>   primarily intended for area directors, working group chairs, and
>   working group secretaries.
>The file can be obtained via
>IESG discussion can be tracked via
>No IPR declarations have been submitted directly on this I-D.